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Watch It! on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007

George Lang Published: November 28, 2007

grinch3.jpgFah Who For-Aze: Go green tonight with another Christmas classic from the mid-’60s, the Chuck Jones-directed 1966 favorite, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (7:30 p.m. ABC/KOCO-5). Boris Karloff narrates and voices the high-altitude Who hater with the put-upon puppy, and you know that outclasses Jim Carrey’s version by a long shot. If you don’t get into this, your heart must be three sizes too small. There are also green Christmas opportunities prior to “Grinch” with “Shrek the Halls” (7 p.m. ABC/KOCO-5), but after the last “Shrek” film, I’m thinking this is one earwax candle that needs to be blown out.

lifedamienlewis.jpgLife’s What You Make It: In a just world, “Life” (9 p.m. NBC/KFOR-4) would be the breakout hit of the year, but how do you sell a story about a cop convicted of murder who is sent to prison, where he becomes a Zen master and fresh fruit enthusiast and is sprung 12 years later on DNA evidence, is given a massive settlement and returns to the force? Sounds like a high-concept fever dream suffered by a TV writer after too much time on the picket line, right?

But it’s great — along with “Journeyman,” this is one of my favorite new shows of this abbreviated season. So it doesn’t become a huge hit, but it should appeal to HBO habitues. Damien Lewis (“Band of Brothers”) stars as Det. Charlie Crews, the eccentric in question; Robin Weigert (Calamity Jane in “Deadwood”) is his captain, and the show is filled with strong, interesting characters who develop with each episode. Like many current hour-long dramas, this one has a subplot arc involving Crews’ continuing investigation of his frame-up, and the show has some great supporting players, especially Sarah Shahi (who played the Vegas stripper who shared Tony’s post-Moltisanti ‘shroom-fueled vision quest in the final season of “The Sopranos”) as his partner, Dani Reece, Adam Arkin as Ted Earley, the white collar criminal who now serves as Crews’ financial adviser, and the great character actor Garret Dillahunt (played both Jack McCall and Francis Wolcott on “Deadwood”) as a Russian mobster.